Professional tax accountants work with individuals and organisations helping them pay the right amount of tax at the right time.
Tax accountants give advice on tax laws.
They provide advice on setting up business structures and doing business transactions so that they comply with tax rules and regulations.
They make sure their clients or employers keep the right records and follow often detailed and complicated tax rules.
Tax planning is so important that tax accountants are a key part of teams that work on the areas that are crucial to future business success. These include buying other businesses or companies, selling parts of the existing business and deciding how best to set up operations abroad.
Tax is a constantly changing environment which provides a dynamic career for financial professionals who can master technical details and work to solve complex problems.
Entry and progression
Tax accountants usually work for accountancy firms.
But some work in-house for large, international businesses and some join governments’ tax authorities.
Candidates enter a tax at a junior level and progress while studying for a professional exam such as ACCA.
ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including tax accountants.
For those who work in tax or aspire to be a tax accountant, the most relevant exam options are:
Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your tax accountancy career.
Performance objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:
High level competencies required by tax accountants include:
A. Communicates knowledge of the operation and scope of the tax system, obligations of tax payer, and the implications of non-compliance and advises on tax planning.
B. Advises ethically on strategic tax plans and computes the tax liabilities of individuals.
C. Advises ethically on strategic tax plans and computes the corporation tax liabilities of individual companies and groups of companies.
D. Explains and computes the effects of value added tax (VAT) / goods and services tax (GST) and indirect tax on incorporated and unincorporated businesses and advising appropriately.
Stakeholder Relationship Management
A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.
C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.
D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.
E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.
Ethics and Professionalism
A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.
B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.
C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.
D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.
E. Communicates effectively and influences others.
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Careers in finance
Read real-life case studies of ACCA members and students to learn more about their careers and the industries, sectors and roles they work in.